Part of the Food Tech and Social Entrepreneurship Series
What they do: Propel’s free, user-friendly app allows SNAP participants to manage their benefits, keep track of their transactions, and find nearby stores which accept SNAP.
How they do it: The Fresh EBT app is a modern financial tool that helps EBT cardholders stretch their benefits. Built by alumni of Facebook and Google, Fresh EBT incorporates best-in-class design to seamlessly offer EBT benefit management, grocery budgeting, and ways to save money – all in one free app. Fresh EBT is available in all 50 states and has been downloaded over a million times.
Official mission: “We build software for low-income Americans who are often overlooked by traditional tech innovation. Our current focus is food stamps, a $70 billion program that reaches 45 million Americans.”
Latest project: They are currently working on creating bank-like features for the app to help users budget their finances.
Major funding: Venture capital (Andreessen Horowitz, Omidyar Network, etc)
Interesting fact about how they are working to change the food system: The use of standard EBT cards requires SNAP participants to wait in hotlines and save receipts. Propel’s app streamlines this process, making food shopping for low-income Americans easier.
Origin story: Propel founder Jimmy Chen originally worked in Silicon Valley as a product manager for Facebook and Linkedin. During his fellowship at Blue Ridge Labs, a Brooklyn-based social impact incubator, he would see hundreds of people in line waiting to see a social worker. Realizing how few apps catered to low-income Americans, he began designing a solution to streamline the SNAP process.
How they make money: Businesses that want to reach low-income customers pay to advertise on the app.
Upcoming projects: They hope to expand the app to many government services, creating a more user-friendly safety net.
Target clients: SNAP participants, low-income users
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Core Programs: Fresh EBT App
Number of staff and/or volunteers: 1-10 employees
Areas served: USA (50 states)
Director: Jimmy Chen, CEO
- Website: https://www.joinpropel.com/
- Phone: (913) 206-6362
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address: 150 Court Street, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201
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